Bull in a China Shop

SERVING UP HOT STEAMING PLATES OF CRAP ON THE GOOD DISHES

Friday, April 15, 2005

Well, I am doing a good job of proving that line in my very first post that states, " I am an excellent starter of things, but I've never finished anything." See... its true. I am failing at keeping this blog/journal thing going. And I have NO excuse! I am lazy and easily bored. Sad, but true. I am reading some other blogs out there and, jeez, people have full lives! They have families (parents and children,) and high powered jobs (lawyer or code editor,) and hobbies (knitting and scrapbooking,) and they go to the gym, and STILL find time to write about the hysterical and thought provoking moments of their exceedingly full lives! AUGH!

OK, enough of that. I will do the best I can and I will not give into my perpetual inferiority complex. Ha! Take that you sorry sagging ego!

As I was saying: to catch up on the eternal emptiness of my existence... NO. WAIT! I must NOT give in!

So, to catch up on the uniquely simple and unencumbered life I lead... (ah, that's better...) I have some thoughts on birthdays. My birthday way April 11th. I turned 38, and I am totally OK with that. Sure, I wish I had less lines in my face and more tone in my everything, but for the most part I am pretty happy with my life.

Wow. I really have nothing to say today. Work is crazy busy, and I am planning a baby shower which is taking up a good chunk of time. I'll try again tomorrow.

Thanks for hanging in so far - if you actually have!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Health? What's that?

I don't know as I have ever really thought long and hard about my health. I am not much of a planner, and I tend to sort of fly by the seat of my pants, but as I grow older I discovered that I might want to be thinking about maintaining this here vessel.

I've done my share of working out, and for the most part I really enjoyed it. But I was always doing it for the vain reason of wanting to look better. I never thought much about the physical benefits, like keeping my heart healthy or my muscles strong. So, I am rapidly approaching 38, having sat on the couch every day for the last few years, and I realize I really need to move more. I have had some recent incidents in which I have had chest pain when I am stressed. My neck and left arm bother me, my eyes sometimes feel like there is so much pressure in them they might pop. Now, before you jump in and tell me what is wrong with me, I have been to my doctor. He says I am fine. However, he saw me for about 15 minutes, asked me some questions, took my blood pressure, did an EKG and this was what he said to me.

"You look pretty healthy to me, and none of the tests show anything so, I think you just need to get out and take a walk around the block."

Hmmm. I am unsatisfied by this response. I feel better knowing I don't have high blood pressure, which I was sure I had. But, he didn't do any blood tests. What about cholesterol? Diabetes? I just don't think you can look at me for 10 minutes and do a 5 minute EKG and tell me I am fine. Aside from his opinion, I decided to start doing a better job maintaining myself. I started walking with my neighbor in the mornings, for 30 minutes. I am eating better. (I have sworn off cheese for a while because that is my favorite thing to eat, in all forms.) And drinking less. As a matter of fact, drinking barely interests me anymore. I am shocked at this revelation, yet pleased as well.

Since my husband's accident I have noticed that the same things don't bother me anymore. When you have looked death in the face, or seen it in someone else's face, a lot of the petty stuff doesn't matter. And holding on dearly to this amazing gift called life becomes so much more important. So from here on out, I am striving to make my "life" better. You may read some exercise updates, or a list of foods I have eaten, because this blog is ultimately for me. However, if you have ideas or suggestions about staying on a healthy path, I welcome the comments.

So, here's to life!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Apparently, I've broken his dog

When I met the man who became my (2nd) husband, I was absolutely delighted to find that he and his daughter had a dog; a beautiful 75 pound, red haired bundle of energy. Champ is half golden retriever, half collie and 100% spaz. I had a German Shepard as a child, his name was Frosty, but he was a little too big and too strong for me to really get cuddly. I have ached for a dog ever since. I am not just a dog lover, I am obsessed. I have a well worn copy of the book that lists all the different breeds. I know them all. I wanted to train dogs for search and rescue, for drug or bomb sniffing, or for therapy. I. LOVE. DOGS.

So, I join this happy family of Speedy (hubby,) Smarty (his daughter), and Spaz, and I am thrilled to have what I always wanted:
INSTANT FAMILY!
Just add water!
Comes with handsome husband,
intelligent and sassy daughter,
energetic dog,
and a beautiful, medium sized ranch for storage!
Some assembly required.
Well, no one told me its not that simple. OK, LOTS of people told me that, but I didn't listen. Nope. I, in my idealistic way, believed whole heartedly that my situation was going to be different. But, I am getting off the subject.. I was trying to pay homage to my dog. That's right... MY dog. Champ (AKA: Spaz) is MY dog now. Both Speedy and Smarty would beg to differ, but I am telling you, HE'S MINE. When I sit down he lays at my feet. Now that's not unusual, I understand. But I just can't keep my hands off of him. I love to pet him. I have to have my foot touching him when he is near me. I can't help but talk to him when he looks into my eyes, or is waiting patiently by the door to be let out. And he is equally attached to me. He respects Speedy, but he LOVES me. I wish he respected me... but I admit I spoiled this poor beast by lavishing him with all of my love. He can't possibly respect a person who speaks to him in gibberish and often asks his opinion on things (in English.) How can he respect someone who allows him on the couch or on the bed when the Alpha Dog isn't home? I am sorry Champ. I have committed the sin of loving too much, and thus I have confused you. Now you get yelled at by the Alpha Dog for doing what I allow you to do. I can't explain the depths of my shame. Please forgive me, furry one. But, you know that I get yelled at by the Alpha Dog too, because I just can't seem to follow the rules either. Perhaps that is why I feel as if we are kindred spirits, and why I love you so. And why I keep turning to you to feel that unconditional love you give so freely. We're not broken, Champ. We're just little worn out, that's all. We'll be just fine.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hardest job EVER

Well, it looks as if there is a family theme forming here, because I have something to say about mothers. Dooce mentioned that motherhood is a job that most wouldn't take if they knew there were 12 hour days, no breaks and no vacations. I am whole heartedly sympathetic. I have no children of my own, (though when I was planning out my wedding when I was 9 I was sure 5 babies would quickly follow) I do, however, have a kick-ass step-daughter. I came into her life when she was 11, and married her father just short of her 13th birthday. Those years, in and of themselves, are a challenge, but when the child is not your own, there is an added measure of difficulty. And I can freely admit there were more than a few times I wanted to walk away, throw in the towel and give up.

Because she lived with her father as her caretaker for so many years, it was difficult for me to find my place as care giver, disciplinarian and resident shoulder to cry on. It became especially hard when we discovered that our parenting philosophies were wildly different. OUCH. Can you hear the thud of my expectations? I went blindly into a relationship thrilled to have a ready made family, expecting they would be equally thrilled to have my input and my motherly, feminine touch.

But, you know what? It turns out she wasn't, and still isn't your typical girl. She has taught me so much about myself, and about life.... its almost embarrassing. She once told me (at about 14) that she was glad that I came along when I did because it meant she didn't have to be "everything" to her dad. (Now don't go getting all weird and perverted now. You know I mean everything in the most honorable sense. Jeez.) And when I was able to allow myself to argue with her, and yell at her, she stopped me and said, "Ya know, just because I am angry with you right now, doesn't mean I won't wake up tomorrow and still love you." I mean, it took a child to explain to me that I can express my displeasure without damaging a relationship. Before that I was too afraid I might lose the other person's friendship, or respect, or love if I voiced my anger or frustration. Go figure.

So, this motherhood thing, whether by nature, by adoption or by marriage, or by whatever means one might become "Mother," is an amazing journey. There is much heartache, and pain and dealing with things you would rather ignore. But the rewards are rich and many.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my mother married a man with 6 kids of his own. She took on 6 step children, most of whom resented her at first, and she had to deal with 3 of her own. I am ashamed to say I wanted to give up the struggle over ONE child, because I now know my mother is a freaking SAINT for handling 9 children with class and grace! And most satisfying is that after my step-father died, his children (some of whom still seemed to resent my mother after 30 years) openly thanked my mother for putting up with them, and for standing by their father (even though on many occasions her was a big insensitive clod,) and for never treating them differently, and for loving them unconditionally, as she did her own children. They love my mom: THEIR mom. Our mom. She ROCKS!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Fathers be good

A few days ago dooce (see dooce.com) posted a blog entry that was a tribute of sorts, to her father. And her husband's father. It made me tear up, as many of her entries do. But it also made me think. It was a Valentine's Day entry, and it was particularly moving to me because, well, let's face it ladies.... for many of us our first Valentine was Daddy.

Now, I have never been a Daddy's girl, but it wasn't for the trying, let me tell you. My real dad died when I was just 9 months old. My sister was 13 and my brother was 6. (How my mother managed will be another day's entry.) When I was 4, my mom remarried a widower with 6 children of his own. It worked. We all grew up, went to college, have jobs/careers, no one has been to jail or rehab or joined a cult or anything. It was no "Brady Bunch" though. My step-father, though he was not physically abusive, basically ignored me. I was 6 years younger than the youngest of the brood. That meant that when my sibling closest in age went off to college, I was 12, and all alone. I was to be seen and not heard. That much was clear. So, I skulked through the house trying to be quiet. I never had friends over. I sat in my room and read. ALOT. I built model airplanes and race cars, I wrote poetry and short stories, I mixed concoctions with my chemistry set. I listened to Donny Osmond and Shaun Cassidy and later I melted when Genesis or Foreigner or Styx or (sigh) Journey crooned from my Sears display model stereo system.

When I was 15, we were having dinner in the dining room, as was required. The news was on. No one spoke. I decided that maybe I would comment on the meat in the pot roast; that even tough it was tasty, it was getting stuck in my teeth. My step-father came back with an idea that maybe it was just stuck because it was getting tangled in my braces. I had not had braces for nearly 2 years at that point. It became painfully obvious that he barely knew I existed. When it came to Valentine's Day, and especially Father's Day, I struggled to find a card that expressed how I felt. There are no "Gee Dad, Wish you could be proud of me, and maybe even acknowledge I exist. Happy Valen-fucking-tine's Day" cards. Nope. There are plenty of those cards that say, "You do so much for me, I learn so much being with you, thanks for being my Pop" cards. But... that just doesn't cut it.

So, here's where I'm going with all this. I know now that the way I act with men is a direct result of being ignored. I can fall in love at the slightest indication that a man might think I am the slightest bit interesting. I am a sucker for a little validation. Just please remember that when you interact with your children. Know that when your daughter is approaching puberty, and is feeling ugly or stupid or uncomfortable in her own skin, that YOUR acknowledgement of her means EVERYTHING. What she will expect from the opposite sex is based in part on the signals you did or did not give her when she was just getting used to her sexuality.

So, as the song goes... "Fathers, be good to your daughters; daughters will love like you do."

Friday, February 11, 2005

She's hot!

So, I've got this friend. I've known her since high school (that's a LONG time) and we have always been friends. Though we have taken different paths over the years, we both make an effort to stay in touch. When we are together we laugh to that point when you have to grab your crotch to keep from peeing yourself. It is as if there weren't months between visits and miles between us. And I need to see her more. She isn't so far away that I can't get there in a few hours. I've really got to work on that.

That said, let me tell you, she is an amazing woman. She is beautiful; with a great smile and an infectious laugh. She has risen up the corporate ladder in a difficult business. She lives alone in the best city in the world (NYC) and does it with class and style. She's been skydiving. She travels to foreign countries for vacation... by herself. She's funny as hell, she can cook, she can do Reiki, she can know your faults and not judge. She's a little bit anal retentive, but that is what keeps her organized and prompt. And... she's single. WHY!? How is it so many men have missed out on this amazing person?

Well, I just hope she knows how cool she is. And I hope someone else figures it out real soon too. Because she deserves it. She doesn't NEED it. But she does deserve it.

You ROCK, girl friend.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

It's 3:00 am

So why is it, that I can think of 100 witty things to say and blog about when I am lying in bed at 3:00 am staring at the ceiling? I get fabulous ideas that nearly write themselves while I am rinsing the soap from my eyes in the shower. I laugh at my own cleverness when I am a mile away from my home, walking my dog.

Yet, when I get here I can't recall one witty thought or clever comment! Perhaps it is the giant black hole that is this office/company that sucks the life right out of me. Not only is the building sick, the folks I work with are a sort I had not really encountered before I started here 11 months ago. I can walk down the hall and see a coworker approaching me. I can look that person in the eye and say "good morning" and get NO RESPONSE. They like to sit in the lunch room and gossip about whomever is not in the room at the time. They keep tabs on everyone else, like little policemen or spies, running to the boss if someone is 2 minutes late. We have FLEX time people! They love to talk about reality TV or porn or some other equally offensive thing at the lunch table. They have little to offer other than talk about the weather or who the Bachelor is going to pick, or if Nick and Jessica are actually getting divorced. I can't say whether any of them has actually read a book in the last 5 years. And sometimes, when my only confidant and I are chatting, other people ask us to explain the meaning of some of the words we use. Trust me, we aren't geniuses or anything. That just shows you the level of DUH in this place.

And the building itself: POISON! There is some foul black goo that drips from the ceiling of the bathroom, and just coming close enough to breathe its foul stench will cause your eyes to burn and make your throat hurt. When the boiling heat or the freezing A/C (both of which you can count on experiencing in one day) kicks on, you could experience a headache, sneezing, immediate sinus stuffiness and pain, and on some occasions, nausea. Also, the runs often make their way around the office. And OF COURSE everyone has to comment on it and discuss it and de-fricking-scribe it. Not that I can't appreciate a good conversation about poo, amongst good friends. But, these folks are just disgusting enough before the subject of poo comes up, that I am just freaked right the hell out.

So there. How's THAT for witty and clever. (sigh)